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Obesity linked to poor sperm quality

Thursday, August 19, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: obesity, sperm quality, health news

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(NaturalNews) Young men now have a new incentive to stay lean and fit. According to a new report in the journal Fertility and Sterility, overweight young men have poorer sperm quality than their peers of a more healthy weight do.

The findings reveal that not only do overweight men have lower sperm counts, but their sperm are less mobile and less able to travel in the right direction as opposed to simply swimming aimlessly. In other words, overweight men between the ages of 20 and 30 may have a much harder time becoming fathers than leaner, fitter men will.

Researchers say it is unclear whether or not the difference in sperm quality is significant enough to affect overall fertility, but they believe that it could, and that further research is necessary.

For the study, Dr. Uwe Paasch and his team from the University of Leipzig in Germany analyzed more than 2,000 men who had visited fertility clinics between 1999 and 2005 to test their sperm quality. None of these men had any known fertility problems at the time.

Based upon the analysis, overweight men from this group had lower sperm counts than normal-sized men, but generally all the men were still in the "normal" range. However, this range is quite large, spanning between 20 and 150 million sperm per millimeter of semen, which may affect fertility.

Other studies suggest that the reason why overweight men have poorer sperm quality is due to imbalanced hormone levels caused by excess fat. Obese men can have levels of estrogen that are too high, while their testosterone levels are below normal levels. So it is important for men to maintain healthy body fat levels.

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